NEW AGEISM AND CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

THE HILL, an online news group, HAS AN ARTICLE OF NOVEMBER 1, 2018, about the growing popularity of “New Age” beliefs.  The elites through the media have now given this belief system legitimacy by calling it a group, a precursor to a Church with its theological authority.   Disturbingly, the Pew Research Center poll “found 62 percent of Americans hold New Age beliefs, such as astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in trees or mountains.”  The Pew poll “found that those who identify as Christian were more likely than atheists and agnostics to hold at least one New Age belief.”

Some of my friends and associates have teased me about how I rail against some of todays Church services replete with acid rock bands, dancing across the stage, no amens and hallelujahs (only a nice little clap as in a broadway show), no basic theology, no creed, in some cases no Bible; just feel good stuff!   With the main attraction being a “Johnny Carson-Jay Leno-Jimmy Fallon-Conan O’Brien” standup comic to entertain the happy-happy crowd, as long as they are entertained  why preach & teach apologetics and basic Christian theology?

In the Old Testament Judges 21:25, “ … every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” In other words, there was no cohesive, basic belief system. They didn’t follow the Mosaic Law ordained by God Himself.

One of the worst teachings today, [in my humble opinion] is the push for prosperity and positivity!  “Send me your seed money” is one of the most recognizable.  You’ll be healthy, wealthy and wise, they say.  Another is the little cherub-angel thingies – “isn’t it so cute!”  How ‘bout Yoga!  Much of what we hear in church today is a biblically based “Tony Robbins” show.  Make sure absolutely nothing is said from the pulpit about sin, repentance, confession, the cross or the redeeming blood of JESUS CHRIST.

Here is genuine Christian THEOLOGY:

“Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!”

Hebrews 1:1-6 (msg)

“In the beginning the Word [Christ Jesus] already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.”

John 1:1-2 (nlt)

“God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ.”

Romans 3:22-24 (ncv)

“Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one fools you. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will fool many people. You will hear about wars and stories of wars that are coming, but don’t be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes. Nations will fight against other nations; kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat, and there will be earthquakes in different places. These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born. “Then people will arrest you, hand you over to be hurt, and kill you. They will hate you because you believe in me. At that time, many will lose their faith, and they will turn against each other and hate each other. Many false prophets will come and cause many people to believe lies. There will be more and more evil in the world, so most people will stop showing their love for each other. But those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved. The Good News about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world, to every nation. Then the end will come.

“False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible.”

Matthew 24:4-14, 24 (ncv)

“We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.

We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.”

1 Corinthians 2:6-9 (msg)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9 (niv)

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”

1 Peter 1:15-16 (niv)

“The time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear. They will stop listening to the truth and will begin to follow false stories. But you should control yourself at all times, accept troubles, do the work of telling the Good News, and complete all the duties of a servant of God.”

2 Timothy 4:3-5 (ncv)

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FEELING HOPELESS?

FEELING HOPELESS?

Is it because you think you should be punished?

In the Philippines just before Easter, men will whip and beat themselves until they are bloodied almost into death. Some have been known to try crucifixion.  It is known as SELF-FLAGELLATION – “the act of hitting yourself with a whip as a way to punish yourself or as part of a religious ritual.”

A guy in South Texas said to me, “Man, I’ve really been an idiot.”  He had no church background. He didn’t understand “churchy” language.  He really didn’t even know what sin was.  All he knew was that he had been an idiot; almost ruined his life.  He felt hopeless because he thought he had been an idiot and needed punishment.

I told him about Jesus, the Savior, but when I tried to take a positive approach for his salvation, he kept coming back to how big of an idiot he was and how he needed to be “smacked up ‘side da hayud.” [Texas slanguage]  He was mentally and emotionally broken.  It seemed that his only answer to peace was self-flagellation.

The two thieves who were crucified with Jesus explored self punishment both knowing they had done wrong. “One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: ‘Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!’ But the other one made him shut up: ‘Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. WE DESERVE THIS, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.’

Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.’ Jesus answered, ‘Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.’”

Luke 23:39-43 (msg)

You may think you have been an idiot. It may seem as though there is no hope. It may look like God’s forgiveness is too easy – that your sin is too great and your only hope is to have your legs broken.  God’s answer through Christ is, “DON’T WORRY!”  Worry, self punishment, hopelessness, fear, doubt and anxiety are not the answer to “idiocy” and sin!

“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.”

Ephesians 2:1-6 (msg)

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“Near the cross, a trembling soul,

Love and mercy found me;

There the Bright and Morning Star

Shed His beams around me

“Near the cross! I’ll watch and wait,

Hoping, trusting ever;

Till I reach the golden strand,

Just beyond the river.

“In the cross, in the cross

Be my glory ever,

Till my ransomed soul shall find

Rest beyond the river.”

(Fanny Crosby)

Save Me From Sniffles

HEALING! OH, YES.  WE WANT IT NOW.  NO SUFFERING, NO PROBLEMS, NO HURT.  Everything from the sniffles to devastating illnesses – “heal me Jesus!”

When Jesus walked the shores of Galilee, were his disciples ever sick or tempted?  Did they ask Jesus to protect them?  If so, there is no record of him saying to Bartholomew, “No more sniffles.” Or to James the Less, “You won’t have an ear ache any more.”  Zap!  Bingo!  Yes, they were scared from time to time. They got angry.  They were uncertain in certain situations.   I can’t find where Jesus protected them from temptation either. The key was – they left everything to follow Jesus. Talk about total commitment!

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6 (niv)

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“Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed

To resist some temptation strong;

When for my deep grief there is no relief,

Though my tears flow all the night long?

“Does Jesus care when my way is dark

With a nameless dread and fear?

As the daylight fades into deep night shades,

Does He care enough to be near?

“Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,

His heart is touched with my grief;

When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,

I know my Savior cares.”

(Frank E. Graeff)

 

Are We Warthogs?

IF THERE IS NO GOD,  NO HEREAFTER, NOTHING MORE THAN THE PHYSICAL floating through millennia of transmutation, why do we sometimes hurt deeply in our soul?  Why don’t we die like a dog or mosquito or a fish in the ocean?  What’s the big deal!

Why is it that for the last 6,000 years human beings have yearned for a supreme being making gods of wood and gold?  Who put the hunger in our heart for love, purity, moral conscience, for order?   What about that yearning to live forever?  If we are animal only with no hereafter what, then, is the big deal about dying – we just disappear, rot away in the dirt?  To the dialectical materialist/Left/communist crowd, you and your family are only economic animals to be manipulated for what they would interpret as the good for the whole of society.  Are human beings possessor of some kind of strange spirit that other creatures don’t have; or, does a dragonfly have what we have?  A cow, horse, warthog, grasshopper?   If we are no different, why not feed the hungry with human meat?

NO! A thousand times NO!

“In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. In the past all of us lived like them, trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God’s anger because we were sinful by nature. We were the same as all other people. But God’s mercy is great, and he loved us very much. Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.”

Ephesians 2:1-5 (ncv)

 

To the eternal God the writer of Hebrews wrote: “‘You made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.’”

Hebrews 2:7 (nlt)

 

“Now we did not receive the spirit of the world, but we received the Spirit that is from God so that we can know all that God has given us.”

1 Corinthians 2:12 (ncv)

 

“I want [you] to be strengthened and joined together with love so that [you] may be rich in [your] understanding. This leads to [your] knowing fully God’s secret, that is, Christ himself.  In him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are safely kept. I say this so that no one can fool you by arguments that seem good, but are false.  “When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins.”

Colossians 2:2-4, 13 (ncv)

 

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:24 (ncv)

You are not just a piece of evolutionary meat roaming the desert of confusion.  You are a spirit longing to join the Spirit of God Almighty.  Your spirit is that something God put within you that gives you the ability to have an intimate relationship with God through the redeeming sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for the penalty of your sin and mine!

CITIZENS OF ETERNITY

WHEN WE STEP ON THE PROPERTY OF THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN A FOREIGN LAND WE STEP INTO AMERICAN TERRITORY, OWNED LOCK, STOCK AND BARREL BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – but there is an exception; ownership is by agreement. According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 Embassy property is owned by the sending state and is agreed to in Article 21-22:

Article 21

The receiving State shall either facilitate the acquisition on its territory, in accordance with its laws, by the sending State of premises necessary for its mission or assist the latter in obtaining accommodation in some other way. 2. It shall also, where necessary, assist missions in obtaining suitable accommodation for their members.

Article 22

The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

Therefore, we can state with confidence that when we step on Embassy property of the United States, we have entered America. As it is now spiritually, we are living in a foreign land, but our homeland is in heaven. Philippians 3:20 encourages us to rejoice because “we are CITIZENS of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.”

 

THE DECEIVER

DECEPTION!

Have you ever been hornswoggled? I was – more than once!  I needed …, no, I wanted a specific item.  The sales representative knew that the key to my purchase was my “want,” my desire.  He could sense it. He had my number. He knew I was an easy mark. I was vulnerable.  I bought it – hook, line and sinker!  No, No, No! I’m not saying he was a deceiver – maybe a little.  All I’m illustrating is that I was an easy sale because of my own vulnerability.

The New Age followers prey on those who are innocent and/or those who are seeking hope of some sort or another.  The so-called “religious” science followers and the “ology” folks,  pick out those who are looking for fame or positive affirmation and “BINGO!”  They’ve learned how to prey upon those who want money, or fame, or “spiritual” guidance.  These smooth-talkers have been taught how to identify and take advantage of the vulnerable.

“For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

Romans 16:18 (niv)

“Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Matthew 24:11-13 (niv)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

1 Peter 5:8-9 (niv)

 

UNSEEN, BUT KNOWN

MULTIPLIED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS – $$$ – have been spent by your government on listening for communication from outer space and investigating the possibility of extraterrestrial creatures. It took our illustrious scientists and academics thousands of years to discover DNA.  We still have not discovered a cure for the common cold.  Just think, electromagnetic and radio waves were not discovered until the 1870’s.  X-rays weren’t known until the late 1800’s and computer technology until the 1930’s.

Suppose, just suppose …

ALTHOUGH THERE IS AN UNSEEN-WITH-THE-NAKED-EYE SPIRITUAL BEING roaming the earth, nevertheless, the evil one is a person. We can rebuke his negativity in our lives, his filthy temptations, his accusations, his attempts to discourage us and his coming  to us as an angel of light.  Yes, an angel of light, and at the same time dragging us into low self esteem or pushing us into arrogant pride. God’s plan is for us to  “submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 (niv)

Right now, regardless of your circumstances, El Shaddai (The Almighty God Who Can), YAWEH (The one who says, “I AM!”), The Christ of Calvary, is as close as your heart.  “HE is here, hallelujah! HE is here AMEN!”  Do you want to “see” Him? GO.TO.HIS.WORD!  Submit yourself to Him!  “Listen” to your heart!

“No one can see God, but JESUS CHRIST IS EXACTLY LIKE HIM.  He ranks higher than everything that has been known, made or discovered.
“He was there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him.”
Colossians 1:15, 17 (ncv)

To the scientists and governments of this fallen world, I am saying, “Your huge disks on top of the mountain will not find Him.”

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:6-9 (kjv)

“You must give your whole heart to him and hold out your hands to him for help.”
Job 11:13 (ncv)   🎼🎶🎹
“Into my heart, into my heart.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Come in today, come in to stay.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”

On the Wings of Angels

A FEW YEARS AGO – actually, it was over 40 years ago, but the older I get “ain’t it funny how time slips away.” So, over 40 years ago I went to Los Angeles, maybe Costa Mesa, to a wedding; a small one.  Pat and Debbie Boone were there. Pat’s secretary was getting married. No huge pipe organ.  No big choir.  No marching down the aisle. No train following the bride. Suddenly, but softly Pat and Debbie began to sing,

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“Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
I can feel His mighty power and His grace.
I can hear the brush of angels wings.
I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.”

There were no strobe lights, no acid rock music, and no blonde bombshells prancing across a stage yelling into the mic. But guess what? The Holy Spirit showed up.  Some may not understand the metaphor, but all of us there that day heard the flutter of angels wings.

The Quietness of Growth

BACK IN THE STONE AGES WHEN I WAS ABOUT SEVEN, we moved to Grandpa’s ranch way out in the country north of Cisco, Texas.  The little town we moved from near the Mexican border was noisy, but on the ranch it was real quiet. The cows were eating grass so about the only sounds they made were when they mooed. Grandpa didn’t have tractors. He had horses. They didn’t make noise either except snortin’ around. Chickens clucked and the pigs oinked, but for all practical purposes it was quiet all the time.

The wheat, corn and highgear, grass, trees and flowers didn’t make any noise as they grew. Things that grow don’t make noise, but in town there was alot of noise especially when they were tearing things down, or if Grandpa ran into something, or if the blacksmith was banging on iron.
I guess I learned that when things grow they don’t make noise, but when you tear things down or go running around here and there you make a lot of noise and bring a lot of attention to yourself.
It’s better to be in a growing mode than to tear things down. It’s better to lift people up than to tear them down!